A RECORD OF CRUELTIES
PERPETRATED UNDER THE
NATIONAL INSURANCE ACT
PRIVATE RESEARCH WORK
Walter R. Hadwen,
PRICE ONE PENNY
PUBLISHED BY THE
British Union for Abolition of Vivisection,
32, CHARING CROSS, LONDON, S.W. 1.
Ktli C«JHtI IB.
C«lrW» C 'n«f«
Recent British Vivisections (1917 )
HHHE following record of cruelty in British
laboratories appeared first in the form of three
articles in the Abolitionist of September, October
and November, 1917.
The first chapter describes experiments on dogs,
cats and monkeys, and gives evidence of the
infliction of lengthened sufferings. The question
of ancesthetisation need not be considered , inasmuch
as the main cuelty consisted in the effects of the
operations performed, and not in their actual per-
formance. It xvill be seen that no definite or useful
residts were obtained, and that the experiments were
financed by the National Insurance Committee,
under which the money had been obtained for a
totally different purpose.
The second chapter relates some horrible experi-
ments upon dogs, the condition to which they were
reduced being plainly revealed by a photograph
published by the experimenters in June, 1917 ; other
similar photographs are added.
The third chapter reveals a further waste of
money raised at the expense of the nation under
the Insurance Act. This article gives a general
idea of the fantastic and absurd inquiries in the
interests of which so many animals are continually
being cruelly sacrificed.
A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE SCANDAL
IT is now nearly twenty years since we described in
the Abolitionist certain cruel experiments per-
formed upon dogs and monkeys by Dr. Edmunds,
consisting of the complete and partial removal of their
thyroids and parathyroids. From that time to the
present, thousands of similar experiments have been
conducted by vivisectors in this and other countries.
The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology
for March, 1917 (edited by five of the chief English
vivisectors), brings these investigations up to date.
They consist of a long series of experiments in which
large numbers of dogs, cats, rabbits and rats were
The investigations were undertaken :
(1) To gain further knowledge of the disturbances of
the nervous system which follow the removal of
the parathyroids, and of their relation to a
peculiar nervous condition called tetany (compri-
sing usually a rigid condition of the muscles of
the extremities, spasms of the larynx and
epileptiform convulsions), which is chiefly met
with in young children.
(2) To throw some light upon the factors which were
responsible for these conditions.
(3) To further elucidate the functions of the
The thyroid gland is a small swelling situated in front
of the upper part of the windpipe, which occasionally
grows to an abnormal size, when it is called goitre, and
the parathyroids are small bodies of seemingly similar
structure lying in the vicinity of the thyroid.
AFRAID OF ANTI-VIVISECTIONISTS.
Tetany in children was first described by Clarke in
1815 — now a little more than a century ago — and
experiments on animals' thyroids were, apparently,
first undertaken by Astley Cooper, some twenty years
later, namely in 1836. He removed the thyroids in
two pups, a dog and an ass, and in an appendix to
Guy's Hospital Reports, he promised a description of
" the interesting symptoms which supervened," but
they were never published. Two writers (Drs. Noel
Paton and Leonard Findlay) remark :
" Probably this was one of the series of
experimental investigations, which, as stated in his
Life, he abandoned through fear of agitation against
him by anti-vivisectionists."
This is interesting, and, if true, would show that there
was an active protest against vivisectional practices in
this country forty years before Miss Frances Power
Cobbe (the foundress of the British Union for the
Abolition of Vivisection) commenced her agitation.
Thirty-three years later (in 1859), a German, Moritz
Schiff, published an account of his extirpations of the
thyroid in dogs, cats and guinea-pigs, all of which
drew a blank so far as useful knowledge was concerned.
There seems to have been a lull for another twenty
years, when experiments on the thyroids and para-
thyroids of animals became more general, and since
that time until now, thousands of sentient animals
have been exploited ; these latest experiments by Drs.
Noel Paton and Findlay, and others, occupy no less than
180 quarto pages of the March issue of the Quarterly
Journal of Experimental Physiology.
NO ADVANCE THROUGH VIVISECTION.
We may well ask, after all this welter of animal
torture and sacrifice, what has been gained thereby, so
far as it has any bearing upon the alleviation of human
suffering or the acquisition of useful knowledge ? The
investigators themselves provide the answer :
" Clarke, who first described tetany (1815), thought
that it was due to some disease of the brain, and
even to-day all we can definitely assert is that it is
characterised by, and due to, a hyper-excitability of
the nervous system ; but how far the brain, the spinal
cord, or the peripheral neurones are affected, and
what causes the hyper-excitability is not known."
This negative result, after more than a century of
vivisection, is a bad advertisement for the practice.
There have been many theories as to what the
primary causes of the tetany conditions could be.
Some have claimed that they are rheumatic in nature ;
others that they resulted from errors in diet ; others
again that they were due to certain occupations.
Some thought they were caused by too much lime
salts in the brain ; others, that they arose because
there was too little ; in fact every theory, as it came
along, was associated with fallacies, exceptions and
TETANY IN "RICKETY" CHILDREN.
Rickets claimed and still claims a leading place
among the numerous theories of origin, as "tetany" is
frequently found among rickety children, but then it is
known to occur in breast-fed children which are not
rickety, and rickets does not explain tetany in adults.
It has been thought to be due to a specific infection,
but without sufficient evidence to support the idea.
The theory which has obtained, however, the most
popular favour among a certain class, during the last
three or four decades, has been that tetany is due to a
functional or organic disturbance of the thyroid gland,
or of the parathyroids. The idea was conceived owing
to symptoms of tetany having occurred after excision
of the thyroid gland.
The first operator (in 1880) believed it to be due to
the absorption of septic poison after the operation
(which is probably the cause of the very definite
condition known as tetanus, resulting from wounds
that have not been cleansed). Others thought that
injury to the nerves during the course of the operation
was the cause of the tetany, especially as the same
symptoms occurred in connection with goitre, tuber-
culosis and other affections of the thyroid ; but
similar symptoms have been known in abundance where
there was no goitre and no thyroid affection.
Then came the theory of the parathyroids as the
exciting cause of tetany. It was ten years ago, in 1907,
that a German, having found blood in the parathyroids
of children who had died of convulsions, came to the
conclusion that the bleeding had been caused at birth
in consequence of difficult labour, and the injury to
the parathyroids was therefore responsible for the
tetany. This was contradicted by many others who
found no blood in the parathyroids under similar
A FINE CHANCE FOR THE EXPERIMENTER.
As the result of all this mass of theory and
contradiction, a fine field of exploration, extending
over years, was opened up to the view of the vivisector,
who came to the conclusion that the question could
only be answered by experiments on dogs and cats and
other animals. Cutting out their thyroids entirely,
cutting them out bit by bit, cutting out all the para-
thyroids, cutting out some and leaving others, cutting
out the thyroid and only part of the parathyroids, and
so on, in endless diversions, such were the experiments
that were conducted with a view to solving the problem
of tetany in children.
The work began in earnest, in 1884, by Schiff cutting
away the thyroid in a dog, when certain nervous
symptoms resulted. He then took the thyroid of
another dog and sewed it into the abdomen of the
first dog, when, he says, the nervous symptoms
abated. Then another German, Wagner, in the
same year did it in cats, and Sir Victor Horsley,
in 1885, wound up the series with monkeys. But —
as is the way with vivisectors — the authors of the
treatise in the Quarterly do not agree with the latter's
As the result of many hundreds of these horrible
experiments, the conclusion was finally arrived at that
if you cut away the thyroids and parathyroids in dogs,
cats, and monkeys, their dispositions are altered, they
become nervous, depressed and sluggish, they shake their
paws (which is called "water shaking"), they get
contraction of the larynx with difficult breathing,
sometimes their heads are thrown back and their spines
arched so that they rest on head and hind legs, their
legs jerk and show muscular tremors and stiffness, and
they suffer from convulsions in all degrees of severity,
become emaciated and refuse to take their food, fall
about, suffer from diarrhcea, become prostrate with
weakness and usually succumb in a convulsive fit.
As a variation, holes were bored in bones, and bits of
thyroid transplanted therein, to prevent the develop-
ment of tetany, and then taken out again to watch
results, but our present authors candidly confess that
" the benefit said to be produced .... is
frequently more apparent than real, and that it is
merely one of those temporary intermissions in the
intensity of the symptoms."
INSURANCE MONEY REQUISITIONED.
Now, it was to continue all this sort of thing that an
application for financial aid was made to the Medical
Research Committee of the National Insurance Act,
and funds were granted out of the English public purse
for the prosecution of a scheme for studying the cause
of tetany under the innocent name of " Rickets." At
least, such is the statement made by Sir Edwin
Cornwall to Mr. H. G. Chancellor, in reply to a question
in the House of Commons, and the following is a copy
of the official scheme which the parliamentary
representative of the National Health Insurance Joint
Committee has supplied to our Parliamentary Repre-
sentative, declaring that he knows no more of the matter
than what appears in this innocent-looking " scheme."
Investigations of the
common deficiency factor
in diets of children who
develop rickets, systemat-
isationof hospital dietetic
records. Relative effici-
encies of curative diets.
Relation of fat
holism to rickets.
General metabolism in
rickets : analytic studies.
Bristol : Work under direc-
tion of Prof. Walker Hall.
Visiting assistance, etc.
Glasgow : Work under direc-
tion of Prof. Muir and
Prof. Noel Paton.
Statistical investigation and
Chemist (part time).
Histologist (whole time).
Dr. Renton, surgical assist-
Dr. Findlay, clinical assistance
London : (i.) Dr. Corry Mann
(ii.) Work under direction
Dr. Garrod and Dr. Still
(Great Ormond Street
London: Absorption of choles-
terol and its distribution
in the body in rickets.
Dr. J. C. Gardner.
Sheffield : Prof. Leathes.
Leeds : Work directed by
Prof. Grunbaum and Dr.
Assistant (whole time).
4. Determination of growth
factors, with special
reference to rickets.
Effects of rickets on the
incidence and mortality
of other diseases.
Cambridge : Worker directed
by Prof. Hopkins.
Edinburgh : Prof. Ritchie.
Relation of pituitary and
other factors to growth.
Dr. Fraser (part time).
London : Dr. E. Mellanby
Chemical Assistant (part
Dr. Plimmer, Prosector to
occasional assistance and
Collection of information
from fox-hound kennel-
Central Institute : Dr.
Brownlee and Assistants :
with co-operation offered
by Sir George Newman
and his staff.
WHAT THIS "SCHEME" CONCEALED.
No one could possibly suppose that, under cover of
this colourless " scheme," many scores of outrageous
experiments on animals would be perpetrated and that
no less than four vivisectors (Alexander Watson,
David Burns, George M. Wishart, and J. S. Sharpe)
would be engaged in the work and contribute articles
on the subject, whose names do not appear in the
official list of persons authorised to conduct the in-
It is quite impossible to say under which head these
experiments could have been carried out. Apparently,
the " scheme " having been accepted and the money
grants allowed, the vivisectors proceeded to do as they
chose, without any further control, and applied for and
obtained from another department — the Home Office —
the necessary licences to prosecute their work.
Although, probably, we know as much about rickets
as we shall ever know, we, nevertheless, would raise no
objection to harmless looking investigations such as
appear in the above list, conducted, as they should be,
among human subjects and in a way that could offend
no humane susceptibility. In fact, from time im-
memorial, such investigations have been conducted
voluntarily by medical men interested in the subject,
and upon their results our present scientific knowledge
of the subject rests. But we do protest against such
investigations being placed in the hands of vivisectors
supported out of the public purse, and their being
allowed to pursue their work among dogs and cats in
physiological laboratories from which it is impossible
to eliminate cruelty, this work being fraught with
endless fallacies consequent upon differences in physical
constitution and all the conflicting elements associated
with pain, distress and operative complications.
TRYING TO PRODUCE TETANY.
In the first of the seven articles before us, written by
Drs. Noel Paton and Leonard Findlay, they definitely
"Our object was to produce the condition of tetania para-
thyreopriva in as large a proportion of the animals used as possible,
and this can be done most certainly by complete thyroparathyroid-
(That is, by cutting away entirely the thyroid and
parathyroids in animals, in order to produce the
various symptoms already mentioned.) They say :
"Our first series of experiments were made upon cats. These
animals are specially well suited to extended series of observations
. . . since . . . the symptoms are less rapidly fatal than in
dogs. In investigating the role of the different parts of the central
nervous system, and in the metabolic investigations, dogs were
used. Some observations were also made upon monkeys, chiefly
with the view of noting whether in them the hands and feet are
affected in the same way as those parts in idiopathic tetany
[' idiopathic ' means, not produced by any known cause] in the
human subject. For some of the work upon guanidin, rabbits and
rats were also used."
Several detailed accounts of such results are given,
and carbon tracings of the tremors and jerkings in the
legs of dogs are reproduced. We will select one
example of what these animals were called upon to go
through in the interests of experimental physiology.
The number will give some idea of the numerous
animals of one class alone used in these experiments.
EXPERIMENT ON "CAT 91."
"Cat 91. — The right sciatic nerve cut on 18/11. Thyropara-
thyroidectomy [that is, cutting out thyroids and parathyroids]
on 19/11. On 21/11 marked spasticity, with water-shaking and
tremors. The facial phenomenon was marked. On 22/11
coarse jerkings were added to the other symptoms, and the
animal ran backwards and tended to fall to the left. On 23/11
spasticity, tremors and jerkings as before. In the morning the
animal tended to fall forwards, with head down and hind
quarters up. In the afternoon, when put on the floor, it spun
or sprung round its long axis from right to left, and when it
reached the wall it leaned upon it. 24/11 very depressed.
Several times sudden attacks of disturbances of balance. The
head was flexed between the fore-legs, the legs were extended,
back arched, and in this position it sprang round its long axis.
These attacks were brought on by placing the animal on its
back. It was killed by chloroform."
The above description needs no comment, beyond
noting that this state of things went on for at least a
week, during which time no anaesthetic was administered
subsequent to its use at the initial operation.
A photograph is given of the two sides of a monkey's
hand ; the description is as follows :
Small RJiesus. No symptoms were observed, but the animal
was very dull and used its hands awkwardly. It was found dead
on the third day, apparently after a convulsion, the hands being
flexed and thumbs adducted as shown in fig. 6.
NOTHING NEW LEARNT.
In Part II. of these investigations, the experimenters
— Drs. Noel Paton, Leonard Findlay and Alexander
Watson — inform us :
" All the nervous symptoms are undoubtedly due to the
condition of the central nervous system."
This was what Clarke said over a century ago and a
fact with which we are all acquainted.
"Of the relative parts played by the three great arcs — the spinal,
the cerebellar, and the cerebral — a considerable amount of work has
been done, but it has given no decisive answer to the question."
Numerous experiments are then recorded by the
authors with a view to elucidate these points. They
completely removed both sides of the brains of cats
and describe the symptoms.
The poor animals lived in this condition several days,
and the conclusion arrived at is that " removal of the
cerebrum increases the violence of the symptoms."
What those symptoms are we have already seen. The
animals seem usually to have died in convulsions.
Then, after the usual parathyroidectomy, the spinal
cords of dogs were cut in order to see the effect in the
cerebellar area, and the experimenters came to the
same conclusion arrived at by Biedl some time
After this, the spinal area was considered, and the
spinal cord cut lower down, and the symptoms duly
recorded. We are told that " the epileptiform attacks
that so often cause death are strikingly similar to
ordinary epileptic fits in which the cerebrum is un-
We are wondering, as we proceed, what all this has
to do with " Rickets."
Part III. is concerned with electrical reactions
conducted upon large numbers of dogs and cats.
Many of the electrical reactions were tried after the
head had been removed from the body.
Part IV. discusses the question as to why nervous
symptoms such as have been recorded should take
place as the result of the excision of the thyroid and
parathyroid glands, and discusses the many theories
supported by numerous experimenters, and how far
they correspond with the writer's own.
In order to see if the nervous conditions were due to
certain poisonous substances being set free in the
system, normal animals were injected with similar
substances to those which it was thought might have
been excreted in the system. For instance, the
writers say :
" We have made a few observations on the effects of intravenous
injection of ammonium salts in cats, and we find that the move-
ments produced are of the nature rather of coarse jerkings than
of fine tremors."
After discussing the many views of others as to the
probability that some " guanidin-like " substance
circulating in the blood was responsible for the
symptoms, Drs. Paton and Findlay say :
" We have made an extensive series of experiments on the
action of guanidin hydrochloride in rabbits, rats and cats. With
methyl guanidin nitrate we have performed a smaller series
. . . . In all these experiments the symptoms produced were
indistinguishable from those of tetany following parathyroid-
Illustrations are then given of several experiments
on cats. They are very revolting, and need not be
further described ; they are, as the vivisectors say, a
repetition of the symptoms already mentioned.
Tremors, jerking and convulsions play the most
prominent part. In one case the cat " lashed its tail
from side to side, showed some excitement and circled
to the right." In another
"After twelve minutes, jerking of the left hind leg when the
cat was held up. Two minutes later these jerkings involved both
hind legs and the tail. The cat could move about, but the hind
legs seemed paralysed. The hair on the back was erected."
Part V. records a number of experiments on the
urine of animals under normal conditions, and also
after feeding with various diets. These experiments
were repeated after their parathyroids had been cut
away. Subsequently the urine of children suffering
from tetany was tested. As a result, the conclusion
was arrived at that in the case of the last two conditions
(i.e., in the urine of dogs and children) the amount of
guanidin was increased.
Part VI. deals with some ingenious experiments per-
formed by Dr. Wishart in cross circulation in frogs, by
immersing the muscles of their legs in the blood of a
dog or cat killed immediately after its thyroids and
parathyroids had been excised. And the operator
concludes that the results in the frog are the same as
when guanidin is administered, but the susceptibility of
the muscles of different frogs varies so much as to render
the test unreliable.
In Part VII. Dr. David Burns attempts to show the
differences in the amount of nitrogen found in animals
after their parathyroids have been removed.
All the old horrible symptoms ensued, in which con-
dition the dogs' urine was drawn off by a catheter and
examined, and Dr. Burns concluded that the same
results are obtained when the thyroids and parathyroids
are cut awayas when guanidin is giventoafastinganimal.
In a final paper — Part VIII. — Drs. Noel Paton and
Leonard Findlay sum up the conclusions they arrived at
after a consideration of the results of the endless
experiments recorded in the preceding 174 pages.
Their conclusion is
"that the symptoms which follow the removal of the parathyroids
are due to the action upon the central nervous system of guanidin
or methyl-guanidin developed in the body as a result of an altera-
tion in the metabolism." [Metabolism signifies the physiological
changes and splitting up processes which take place in the system.]
THE VIVISECTOR'S THEORY.
This " guanidin," which is supposed to possess such
remarkable properties, is found, it appears, " only
in traces in the unfertilised eggs of the hen. During
the development of the chick it increases steadily till
the twelfth day, when the increase stops." From what
it is produced in animal bodies is to form the subject
of still further investigations.
Apparently the theory is that, because tremors,
jerkings, convulsions, etc., can be produced by injecting
an extractive, called guanidin,. into an animal's body,
and because when the parathyroids are cut out there
are similar nervous symptoms, and the excretion of the
guanidin is increased ; and further because in children
suffering from idiopathic tetany, there are convulsions
and also increased guanidin in the urine; therefore,
tetany in children is caused by guanidin acting in some
mysterious way upon their parathyroids. In short,
that tetany in children, and tremors, etc., in dogs
deprived of their parathyroids, have a common origin.
It is, after all, but a theory, and it is declared by
other vivisectors that the evidence is not conclusive,
which means, we presume, that these wretched animals
will be called upon to undergo still further torture, to
establish or disestablish certain ideas which, whatever
happens, are of no practical value.
The fallacies connected with the theory are many.
An adult may have tremors and jerkings after an
operation on his parathyroids, as does an animal under
similar circumstances, but a child does not experience
these tremors and jerkings ; it has convulsions. On
the other hand, a child, like a dog, may become de-
pressed and emaciated, but not so a man.
THE THEORY CRITICISED.
Furthermore, sometimes one symptom may be
present and others absent; there is no uniformity in
any case. For instance, the laryngeal spasm of
children does not occur in animals when guanidin is
injected, increased excitability is a symptom practically
common to all, but we may venture to suggest that
guanidin is not the only drug which will produce
nervous excitability, nor is the excision of the
parathyroids the only operation that leaves nervous
symptoms of some kind behind. The chief lesson would
appear to be, that a disturbing operation contiguous to
so many important organs is calculated to lead to
the most unexpected and complicated results upon the
nervous system. We are not surprised, therefore, that
in spite of the hundreds of experiments which have
been conducted, these latest investigations have failed
to carry conviction to the minds of other vivisectors.
The authors admit that
"the striking difference between the spontaneous [in children]
and the post-operative types of the disease [in animals and man]
is the rarity of muscular twitchings in the former and their great
frequency in the latter."
They go on to say that Pineles put this down to " a
difference between tetany in man and in animals," but
Drs. Paton and Findlay differ from him, saying, " we
are inclined to consider it a difference between infantile
and adult tetany." We would suggest that these
differences in physical results and the differences in
opinion about them by equally competent vivisectors,
suggest once again the truth of our oft-repeated
statement that you cannot argue from animals to man,
and that these methods, in spite of all the elaborate
work, and the large amount of time and money
expended and the manifest suffering entailed upon
countless sentient animals, is an altogether unscientific,
misleading and inconclusive method of investigation.
"PROBABLY"— THE OLD CONCLUSION.
This view we believe to be corroborated by the
admission on page 380 that "idiopathic tetany is a con-
dition which rarely ends fatally, but parathyroidectomy
in animals, when complete, is inevitably followed by
death." This is excused on the ground that " it is
not a difference of kind but of degree." We venture to
suggest that it is a difference of fact.
Their final conclusion is that
A. " The parathyroids regulate the metabolism of
guanidin in the body. By doing so they probably
exercise a controlling influence on the tone of the
B. "Tetania parathyreopriva [tetany after operation]
and idiopathic tetany [the spontaneous variety in
children] are identical as regards their characters
and metabolism [their own evidence has proved they
are not] , and, although the histological evidence is
not conclusive, in all probability the parathyroids
are implicated in the latter as in the former.'* (The
italics are ours.)
In short, these latest researchers, with their doubts
and contradictions, have left the matter where scores
of other researchers before them had left it. And
even had they succeeded in proving their theory, their
success would not, so far as we can discover, have
advanced in the least the scheme of useful knowledge
as applied to the human subject.
We are still wondering what all this has to do with
" Rickets," for the investigation of which, it appears,
these vivisectors claimed the assistance of funds under
the National Health Insurance Act, and we again ask :
" What right have the custodians of the public purse to
distribute large sums of money among English and
Scotch vivisectors for useless, unscientific and cruel
operations of this description, when this money was
collected from the taxpayer for an entirely different
Is it anything short of a public scandal ?
EXPERIMENTS ON THE BRAINS OF DOGS
FIFTY pages of the June issue of the Quarterly
Journal of Experimental Physiology are devoted
to an account of a number of experiments per-
formed upon a small organ of the brain called the
pituitary body. The text is accompanied by fifty-seven
In the Abolitionist of March, 1913, we referred to
" Observation 36. — Adult fox terrier ; a total removal of the pituitary 10
days after preceding heterogeneous transplant in bone marrow. Photo-
graph taken 4 days after operation, showing typical attitude, with arching
of back, etc.. characteristic of onset of cachexia hypophyseopriva."
similar experiments performed by Sir Victor Horsley on
fourteen dogs in the year 1886, and we published some
illustrations showing the horrible deformities resulting
from such operations. We reproduce two of them.
The present vivisector, Dr. W. Blair Bell of Liver-
pool, has subjected twenty-seven bitches to operation.
He conducted his investigations in the Pathological
Department of the University of Liverpool, and for
the facilities afforded him in doing so, he acknowledges
his indebtedness to Professor Ernest Glynn, whose
many random and inaccurate assertions on " Microbes
and the War" were dealt with in our April issue (1917).
The pituitary body is a very small reddish-grey mass
lying toward the front part of the base of the brain ;
it weighs only from five to ten grains, and consists of
two lobes ; that in front is the larger and is oblong
in shape, and that behind is round. The two lobes
differ both in development and structure. In the
lower animals the two lobes are quite distinct, but
in the mammalia they become connected together.
Curiosity led Sir Victor Horsley, thirty years ago, to
try to ascertain what were the functions of this tiny
little vascular mass. And since then many others
was a fail-
ure from a
These successive " failures " and " unreliable results "
were largely due, we are told, to " imperfect methods,"
the vivisectors having sought to reach the base of the
brain by boring through the jaw, and it is horrible
to contemplate what the poor animals must have
suffered, especially in foreign laboratories, where, as
we know, even an apology for an anaesthetic is dispensed
with if it should interfere in the least with the vivisector's
work or convenience.
'Obsekvation fiO. — Fox terrier puppy, 14 days after total
removal of the pituitary. Symptoms of cachexia
hypophyseopriva of 3 days' duration, and more
advanced than shown in previous illustration. Photo-
graph a few hours before death."
Dr. Blair Bell adopted the plan introduced by
Paulesco, Professor of Physiology at Bucharest, of
boring an opening in the temples of the twenty-seven
animals he used up, and his object was, he says, " to
test the correctness or otherwise of the experiments
carried out by Paulesco and in attempting to gain
further information concerning the experimental
pathology of the pituitary."
THE OPERATIVE PROCEDURE.
The article gives a full description of the whole
procedure. Most of the dogs used were from four to
seven months old, as the skull plates are thinner in
younger than in older animals. One animal died from
bleeding " due to faulty surgical technique." Another
had an " overdose of ether." A third succumbed
"from some unknown cause" soon after the pituitary
body had been totally extirpated.
A few days prior to the main operation the dogs
were submitted (under ether) to an abdominal operation
for the removal of an ovary and another portion of
the genital organs. The anaesthetic for the chief
operation on the brain was administered mechanically
through the windpipe and not by inhalation, as the
operator wished to work comfortably without having
the anaesthetist in his way. He says this method was
" smooth, uninterrupted and safe " and the animal "was
easily restored to consciousness by the administration
of air alone" through the tube in the windpipe. We
confess we do not feel happy about this method in
the case of a dog strapped immovably to its trough.
No surgeon would care to perform an operation on the
skull of a human being under such conditions. But, at
the same time, it is only right to say that an anaesthetist
devoted himself solely to watching the animal's breath-
ing and feeling its heart-beat with his hand under
the covering cloth. The operator also says it was
completely under the influence of the anaesthetic before
he commenced the primary work of opening the skull.
AND ITS RESULTS.
The chief symptom arising from this mutilation was
(as in the cases illustrated on the preceding pages)
what is called " cachexia hypophyseopriva," that is,
emaciation due to the removal of the pituitary hody
and resulting in hideous deformities. But the present
investigator, Dr. Blair Bell, says he does not agree
that the attitude assumed by dogs which have been
operated upon is the specific result of the operation, and
argues that it is " merely an attitude of weakness which is
always seen in dogs in an advanced stage of emaciation
and debility from any cause whatsoever."
If this be the case, then, what caused the
emaciation ? If the emaciation and deformity are
not. the result of the removal of the pituitary body,
they must be due to the general disorganisation of the
brain caused by the operation, and if the disorganisation
can produce similar symptoms to those produced by
removal of the pituitary, we fail to see that any
scientific conclusion can be drawn from the operation
itself. The inevitable contradiction of one another by
vivisectors is in this instance of some importance.
By way of control experiments, two bitches were
submitted to the same procedures as the others ; that
is, portions of the womb and ovary were excised, and
the pituitary body was exposed in the brain, but none of
it removed. The animals lived for months ; but ''neither
showed any symptoms until shortly before death, when
one of them died with convulsions." The writer thinks
it must have been poisoned, because another bitch
chained up next it died in convulsions at the same time.
ANIMALS CANNOT TALK!
In the cases where the pituitary was wholly removed,
all the animals succumbed in from twenty-two to
thirty-six hours after the operation. They became
dull, refused their food, then coma set in and they died.
Much the same story is told when the anterior
lobe only was removed; but it was found impossible
to remove the anterior lobe without damaging the
So partial removal of the anterior lobe was tried in
five bitches. They were allowed to live from 9 up
to 40, 60, 108 and 210 days. Beyond drowsiness or
" animal very weak through the whole period," nothing
particular was noticed. Of course the animals were
unable to express their own feelings in language that
Dr. Blair Bell could understand. In some cases there
was wasting of the genital organs, in others there was
none, which looked as if the conditions depended
upon circumstances quite outside the removal of the
Then the whole posterior lobe was removed in one
dog. It was partially removed in another dog, then
parts of both anterior and posterior lobes were cut
away in two other dogs ; then the stalk of the pituitary
body was clamped and separated in three others.
A TUMOUR OF WAX.
Last of all, an artificial tumour was made of wax
moulded into the shape of a bun, and fixed in the brain
Fig. 46. — Dog 20. 98 days after operation, showing the emaciation and
attitude of weakness caused by glycosuria due to the pressure on the
pituitary of an imitation tumour. (Photograph.)
of three dogs so as to press on the pituitary body. One
of the dogs was killed an hour after it came out
of the anaesthetic, as it appeared to be in pain. But
the other two were allowed to live for 57 and
98 days respectively before being killed. The latter
showed great emaciation whilst the former grew fat.
We reproduce the illustration of the dog that lived
for 98 days after having the artificial wax tumour
fixed in its brain.
Several pages are devoted to a discussion of the
contradictions among the various vivisectors who had
performed the same operations, and the points where
the author agrees or disagrees with them are carefully
detailed. He says in conclusion :
" It is not impossible to reconcile these diverse
findings, especially if we study the difficulties Cushing
encountered when he attempted to make his experi-
mental results conform to his clinical observations.
Believing that reconciliation was not possible, he was
tempted to throw over his experimental results in
favour of the clinical evidence that was in conflict
with them.' 1 ' 1 (The italics are ours.)
This is a poor recommendation for experiments on
animals ! In fact, it affords strikingly clear proofs of
the uselessness of vivisection.
The chief conclusion which Dr. Blair Bell comes to
after all these repulsive operations on the brains of
twenty-seven bitches is
that the pituitary body is an organ essential to life,
as its removal causes death in a few hours. It is
equally fatal if large portions of the anterior lobe
are cut away. But partial removal of both lobes is
not fatal. Partial removal of the anterior portion
may, if sufficient quantity be removed, cause genital
atrophy. Artificial tumours in the brain " may
produce irritation accompanied by glycosuria [sugar
in the urine] and emaciation." The pituitary body
appears to be one organ and not two.
It is difficult to see what practical result has been
obtained by all this cruelty. " The expenses," Dr. Blair
Bell tells his readers, " were defrayed out of a fund
placed by Mr. J. Arthur Smith at my disposal for
scientific research." He does not say how much the
total outlay amounted to, but if Mr. J. Arthur Smith
thinks he has received value for his money, he is easily
To be told that by digging out a tiny obscure organ
at the base of the brain by means of a complicated and
dangerous operation upon the skull of a little bitch a
few months old," one can assure the death of the animal
(which is practically the only piece of positive scientific
information which has been obtained as the result of this
extensive and elaborate exploitation of twenty-seven
sensitive and intelligent creatures) would be grotesque
and ludicrous in the eyes of every ordinary thinker
were it not so horrible and senseless. It passes com-
prehension that intelligent men can spend months and
months of valuable time in inquisitorial practices which
are doomed to failure at the very onset, and it is still
more incomprehensible that they should be allowed to
continue these practices under the sanction of a
EXPERIMENTS AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE,
THE following particulars constitute an excellent
example of the fact that the Medical Research
Committee appointed under the National Insur-
ance Act have more money than they know what to
do with, and are squandering it upon discreditable
In a report furnished by R. Stenhouse Williams,
M.B., B.Sc, D.P.H., Research Bacteriologist in
Dairying to the National Medical Research Com-
mittee and others, we learn that the object of
their investigations was to find out if the bacillus of
tuberculosis still lived " when excreted upon pasture
land in the faeces of cows."
The premiss apparently being accepted that the
tubercle bacillus is the originator of tuberculosis (which
is extremely doubtful) it was presumed that if it still
lived on pasture land after being excreted from
cows, the land itself might become a fertile source
of infection to any cows subsequently grazing thereon.
This supposition, of course, leaves out of account the
fact, that a so-called pseudo tubercle bacillus infests
nearly all dairies, and cannot be differentiated from
the genuine article. Apparently, it is a pseudo bacillus
when the cattle are not tuberculous, but it is a genuine
bacillus when they are ! That seems to be as far as
up-to-date science has penetrated.
The first step that was taken was an offer to examine
the faeces of the cows of any farmer who was willing to
grant permission for that purpose.
The description of the collection of the dung, as
given in detail, is most graphic, and unless the cow was
altogether deficient in a sense of humour, she must
have got more fun out of the procedure than the
scientist who waited upon her.
The scientific investigator dressed himself up in " a
sterile overall " and patiently stood by the cows with " a
sterile spoon " in his hand ready to catch the dung as
it fell from them when their ladyships were pleased to
oblige. He then promptly placed this in " a sterile
vessel " that he kept near, and at once hurried off with
the precious contents to his laboratory.
But it appears this method was found to be rather
" inconvenient, more especially when the dung from a
particular cow was desired." So a quicker and easier
method was decided upon. At first a specially made
spoon was introduced into the cow's rectum, but this
proved unsatisfactory ; so the hands and arms of the
investigator were washed and painted with iodine, the
orifice of the cow's rectum was also cleaned and painted
with iodine, and the hand was then introduced and
some of the salubrious material withdrawn. " With
the help of a sterile spoon it was then transferred to a
sterile vessel and brought to the laboratory " where it
was kept in an ice chest until required.
THE GUINEA-PIGS' TURN.
Microscopic examination was deemed to be quite in-
sufficient for discriminating between a real and a false
tubercle bacillus, so guinea-pigs were requisitioned,
into which, it was decided, the faeces of the cows must
be injected ! And if the guinea-pigs contracted tuber-
culosis after this sewage matter had been pumped
into their bodies, the scientific mind came to the con-
clusion that the tuberculosis was due to the germ in
the sewage and not to the sewage itself.
And this is how the sewage was prepared :
A quantity of faeces was mixed with a sterile saline
in a sterile stoppered bottle, well shaken up, poured
into a sterile cylinder and allowed to stand one hour.
At the end of that time the greater portion was
poured off into a centrifuge tube, some antiseptic
added and the whole was shaken at intervals for half-
an-hour. Then it was whirled in the centrifuge tube
at the rate of 4,000 revolutions a minute for a quarter
of an hour. The fluid was poured off, the sediment
washed with sterile saline and again centrifugalised.
The fluid was once more removed and more sterile saline
added, when this delectable emulsion of faecal matter
and salt water was considered fit for injection into
guinea-pigs. It requires a " scientific mind " to under-
stand the rationale of these weird proceedings.
But bits of straw blocked the syringes, so further
refinements were found to be necessary. The fasces
were mixed with sterile distilled water (!), the suspension
was filtered through muslin and the residue in the
muslin bag squeezed with forceps in order to get
through as much of the emulsion as possible.
AMOUNT OF FILTH REQUIRED TO KILL.
The liquid faeces was then inoculated into guinea-
pigs— twenty-six to start with — and " none died." The
quantity of fasces was thereupon increased, eighty-six
guinea-pigs were inoculated and " all survived." The
proportion of faeces was still further increased and the
filth was injected into twelve guinea-pigs, when three
of them died within three days ; so the quantity of
faeces was reduced, and ninety-six more guinea-pigs
were inoculated. As only two died out of this lot,
it was considered a very gratifying result.
Encouraged by this scientific success of injecting
the faeces of cows into guinea-pigs without killing
them, the investigators decided to treat a similar
quantity of faeces for one hour with antiformin — a
disinfectant — which they thought would not kill the
tubercle bacilli, but might enable them to pump a larger
quantity of faeces into the bodies of the long suffering
guinea-pigs. So 112 guinea-pigs were inoculated with
this precious emulsion, and seven of them died in a
This seemed so to gratify the experimenters, that
they decided to get in a still larger proportion of
faeces, by treating the latter with antiformin for two
hours instead of one. Forty-eight more guinea-pigs
were requisitioned for this illuminating programme
and fifteen died within a few days.
Of the twenty-seven guinea-pigs which had died
within seven days of their inoculation, twenty-two had
shown marked signs of septic infection spreading from
the seat of inoculation, in spite of the antiformin, so it
was concluded that the proportion of faeces must be
reduced or the antiformin increased, or else the faeces
must be allowed first to decompose.
Fasces two days old were then treated with anti-
formin for four hours and the stuff was injected into
six guinea-pigs, five of which died in three days.
Then they injected twelve guinea-pigs with faeces
that had been kept for a fortnight before the anti-
formin was added, and two of these died in seven daj^s,
suffering from diarrhoea.
FANTASTIC PREPARATIONS OF FILTH.
A hundred guinea-pigs were then experimented with.
By keeping the fasces a week, incubating for one night,
shaking with distilled water, filtering through muslin,
revolving this mess in a centrifugal machine at a
terrific rate, again incubating the sediment, adding
antiformin, again centrifugalising, and mixing with
salt and water, the scientists decided that they had
"diminished the danger" of septic infection and
" increased its chance " of not killing the germs !
This was the sublime scientific result which they
arrived at, after fooling about for months with the
disgusting job of pumping cows' fasces into 500
Then follows a long account of the results of the
post-mortems on the inoculated guinea-pigs. It seems
that fasces were obtained from 179 cows altogether,
scattered among three widely-separated districts.
Incidentally, it is interesting to notice that, in one
district, twenty-five out of eighty cows gave a positive
reaction to tuberculin, but no evidence of tuberculosis
was forthcoming on examining the fasces, which looks
bad for the tuberculin test !
The authors seem very elated at their " good
fortune " in finding a cow which gave a " positive
result" in its fasces, and they seem quite to rejoice
in the fact that of two of the guinea-pigs inoculated
therewith, " one died within three days and one after
forty-three " !
It was found that glands of the guinea-pigs were
infested, the liver and spleen enlarged, and bacilli in
the pus. Material from these glands was injected
into more guinea-pigs, which died from this slow
torture at varying periods.
The rest of the report consists of a wearying re-
iteration of similar disgusting details.
HARMLESS TUBERCLE BACILLI.
Three cows which yielded such profitable results
as tubercle bacilli in their faeces were purchased by the
National Medical Research Committee with National
Insurance money, and at the end of five and seven
months respectively, they were still in '"good condition"
although continuing to excrete tubercle bacilli — which
did not appear to do them any harm !
The cows gave plenty of milk, and there is no
evidence that anybody was any the worse for drinking it.
The report is, in our opinion, of a most ludicrous,
repulsive, unscientific and inconclusive nature.
In the first place, the experimenters take for granted
that the tubercle bacillus is the cause of tuberculosis.
There is no definite ground for that assertion. The
presence of the tubercle bacillus is practically unknown
in the earliest stages of the disease and is absent in a
large majority of advanced cases. Moreover, they do
not settle the point that there are psuedo acid-fast bacilli
which cannot be differentiated from so-called true
bacilli, and no scientific evidence has yet been vouch-
safed to show that they are not one and the same thing.
In the second place, they conclude that when they
inject fasces, containing tubercle bacilli, into guinea-
pigs, it is the bacilli which produce infection and
caseation of the several organs involved, and they
decline to entertain any suspicion that the effete
matter itself, apart from any germs, might be the
In the third place, if, as Dr. Charles Creighton has,
we believe, conclusively proved, tuberculosis is a physio-
logical process and not a biological one, then sewage
matter would be as likely to produce tuberculosis by
blocking the capillary blood vessels, as would the
tubercle bacillus, and the latter, if responsible for the
condition, would only incur that responsibility by
reason of its mechanically inducing a similar result,
and not because of any imaginary vital disease-
producing agency in the bacillus itself.
THE WORST BLUNDER.
In the fourth place, this method of testing a theory
is an unscientific one. To inoculate sewage matter,
with or without bacilli, beneath the skin of an animal
directly into the blood stream, is contrary to all natural
methods. Nature knows no entrance into the internal
economy except by the nose or the mouth, and she has
her various apparati ready to render innocuous, as far
as possible, intrusion by any other way. But to pump
material through the skin — an organ intended only for
excretory purposes — is contrary to natural science and
to all hygienic laws, and can be no possible guide to
a scientific conclusion.
In the fifth place, the organs of a guinea-pig are by
no means a scientific sphere in which to judge, by
analogy, conditions affecting higher animals living
under altogether different conditions.
In the sixth place, from a moral standpoint, these
acts of cruelty — bestial cruelty — towards hundreds of
guinea-pigs, which, however low in the animal scale,
are sentient and sensitive, are reprehensible ; and it is
equally immoral to employ cultured men who should
be occupied with work of national importance, upon
such demoralising occupations, at the expense of
moneys taken from the pockets of the workers of this
country, in times like the present.
What is of far more importance, is the description
given in the latter part of the report of some of the
byres from which the cows came. Here is one:
"The cow, which was found to be excreting tubercle bacilli in
her faeces stood in a shed with seven other cows ; the only exit
was down the dunging passage of another shed, in which stood
four more cows. The only means of ventilation was an eight-inch
drainpipe high up in one of the walls. There was no through
ventilation, and two fixed windows, two feet six inches by ten
inches in the roof, gave the only light available. The cubic space
per cow was 299 cubic feet. Neither the cows nor the shed were
washed ; indeed it was doubtful whether there was a sufficient
supply of water for such purposes. The result of these conditions
was that the cows, which only went out of the shed each day for
a few minutes night and morning to water, were in a very dirty
state and the sheds themselves showed every evidence of manurial
THE OBVIOUS IGNORED.
The authors conclude that pigs get tuberculosis
by drinking the milk of cows living under such
conditions. It does not seem to occur to them that
pigs frequently live under conditions quite as bad if
not worse than these.
But, anyhow, here lies the answer, as to the cause
of tuberculosis. It surely is not necessary to spend
large sums of money upon the squirting of cow manure
into guinea-pigs to discover how tuberculosis may be
prevented ! But, we presume, to start an agitation for
the demolition of all such scandalously insanitary
quarters for cows as are here described is not a
sufficiently "scientific" job for the National Medical
Research Committee, nor would it provide a per-
manent remunerative post at Reading University for
a scientific experimentalist.
There is a final recommendation of the Tuberculin
Test for cows, in spite of the evidence afforded by the
writers of its uselessness. But this they attribute
to its " not being carried out with sufficient care " —
a convenient excuse by which every market-place
quack explains away his failures.
That futile and ridiculous investigations of this kind
should be allowed to take place in the name of science
and under the auspices of a National Health Authority is
a public scandal of the gravest description, and should
call for the immediate attention of members of the
House of Commons.
If you wish to put a stop to such
practices as are dealt with in this
THE BRITISH UNION FOR
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Publications of the British Union.
Class A. — For Beginners.
A Sketch of the Vivisection Question, by J. Fraser Hewes Id.
A Statement on Vivisection, by F. C. Hunt
Light in Dark Places, by Frances Power Cobbe
Experiments on Animals (Report of a Speech at Newcastle
1913, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P.)
Experiments on Human Beings, by Dr. Dudgeon
The Cult of the Vivisector (An Analysis of his Claims), by
Dr. Hadwen, J.P
Was it for Science? (The Runcorn Donkey Case)
Some Medical Views of Vivisection, by A. F. Whiteley ..
Some Recent Vivisection Practices in English Laboratories
by Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
Three Affidavits: Revelations from the Rockefeller Hell. Gratis
What Becomes of the Strays.
The Meaning of Anti-vivisection.
English Vivisection Experiments.
What the Doctors say (Some Anti-vivisection Views).
Dr. Crile's Experiments.
The Kindnesses of Sir Victor Horsley.
Gems of Vivisection Evidence.
Vivisection, by Roy Ellis.
Publications of the British Union
Class B. — Refutation of the Claims of Vivisectors.
A Reply to the Lecture of the Research Defence Society... Id.
The Uselessness of Vivisection, by Prof. Lawson Tait ... 3d.
The Royal Commission's Report, 1912 (reprinted from the
Standard), by Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
The Antitoxin Treatment of Diphtheria, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P. 2d.
Tuberculosis and Cow's Milk, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P. ... Id.
The New Tuberculin, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
Rats and Fleas: a Discussion on Plague, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P. 2d.
Antisepsis or Asepsis? by Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
Jennerism and Pasteurism, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
The Case against Vaccination, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P. ... Id.
Evidence for and against Vaccination, by Dr. Hadwen and
Dr. Drury 3d.
Dr. Hadwen's Reply to Dr. Drury 3d.
Was Jenner a Charlatan? by Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
The Blunders of a Bishop, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P. ... ... Id.
Pasteur and Rabies, by Colonel Tillard Id.
The International Medical Congress (1913), by Dr.
Hadwen, J.P Id.
A Reply to Professor Schafer, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P. ... Id.
A Reply to the Research Defence Society's Leaflet on
Typhoid, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
Analysis of the Registrar General's Figures for 1915, by
Dr. Hadwen, J.P Id.
A Reply to Lord Lister, by Dr. Hadwen, J.P. Id.
The Germ Theory of Disease, by Dr. Scott Tebb.
Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace on Germs.
Antitoxin for Diphtheria.
Malta Fever (The Maltese Muddle).
Pasteur and Rabies.
Vivisectors before the Royal Commission.
Dr. Doyen's Confession.
Inoculation for Plague.
Vaccine for Distemper.
Various Leaflets on Typhoid Inoculation.
Class C. — Giving Both Sides of the Question.
Correspondence between Dr. Hadwen and Sir Victor Horsley Id.
Debate between Dr. Hadwen and Mr. Stephen Paget at
Shrewsbury ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 2d.
Debate in the Standard between Dr. Hadwen and Mr.
Stephen Paget 3d.
A Vivisection Controversy (Dr. Hadwenand Mr. Stephen Paget) 2d.
Debate between Dr. Hadwen and Dr. Chappie, M.P., on
Experiments on Dogs Id.
Debate between Dr. Hadwen and Dr. Eastham at Glossop Id.